The Good, the Bad and Ugly of the Villa’s Mixed Week

The Bad

I hate to play the ‘no attacking threat’ record again, but Villa once again offered… well, no attacking threat. Once again there was a single shot on target for Villa in the game, and even if the quality of crossing into the box from Alan Hutton, Charles N’Zogbia and co. had been of a better quality than what was on display for most of the game, it was hard to imagine any chances coming from that tactic.

Once a fully-fit Christian Benteke has returned maybe this will be different, but with Andi Weimann as the lone striker, a goal resulting from a cross looked about as likely as one resulting from Philippe Senderos running 50 yards with the ball at his feet.

Weimann Blues

Weimann does pop up with important goals from time to time – the Britannia on the opening day being the obvious example this season – but for the most part he just seems to offer a remarkable lack of quality and finesse (such as nearly tripping over his own feet when trying to shoot in the first half).

At the moment he often just tends to looks like that mate at school most of us had who claimed he got scouted by a professional team but who never provided any sort of proof. According to stats website Squawka, Benteke completed nearly double the amount of passes in his first 10 minutes back on the pitch than Weimann had in his hour of play.

To be fair to Weimann, a lone striker he is not and it was always going to be a tough day at the office for him considering the opposition.



Dr Jekyll and Mr N’Zogbia

Charles N’Zogbia too, where do you start? In the first half he was consistently the source of most of Villa’s attacks breaking down through poor decision-making or lack of quality in the final product. He can be so frustrating to watch, although not half as frustrating as Weimann.

Over the last few years he’s moved from a player who could turn nothing into something to a player who often turns something into nothing. He is obviously a confidence player though, and he grew into the game massively in the second half, making a couple of excellent driving forward runs, one which led to Kieran Richardson’s golden chance early in the second half and others which could have led to further clean-cut chances if he had got his head up in time.

He offers Villa a different dimension in attack and out wide, but needs to build up confidence and consistency before he can become the key player for the club which he should have been since his arrival over three-years-ago.

The Ugly

Although 10 points from seven games represents a decent start, there are several statistics revealing the dark side of Villa’s start. We have scored just four goals all season and have let in eight in the last three games, albeit against top, top sides. However, as mentioned above to judge Villa on these last three games would be harsh.

Cursed Kozák

With every piece of good news comes a piece of bad news. As huge a boost as Christian Benteke’s return to the Villa side will be, Libor Kozák suffered a devastating blow with a training-ground recurrence of his training-ground broken leg injury which he suffered in January.

According to reports there is now a serious possibility that the Czech forward will go the whole of 2014 without having played a minute of competitive football – his last Villa appearance came in the 1-1 draw with Swansea City on 28 December 2013.

Although he divided opinion amongst Villa fans in his first half season at the club he certainly contributed to the matchday squad and would undoubtedly have a part to play this season. We hope for the best for him and the club, and that his Villa career can kick on when he eventually returns rather than fizzling out.



Tom’s Twitter – @tdnightingale

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  1. Lack of quality all over the pitch. Unable to pass the ball 5 yards accurately. Unable to keep possession of the ball for more than 30 seconds. I lost count of how many times we gave the ball away in our half against City. The worst news since Lameberk getting a new contract was Fox telling us that Lerner has a renewed interest in the club! God help the Villa and God help us fans!

    • Dai if perhaps you watched the footie and did not constantly look to find fault you might have realised that until the final 10 minutes there was very little to separate the 2 teams except for the price tags on the players

  2. A good article and overall I’d agree with much of it !
    However it asks about views on Weimann & Nzogbia and on twitter the question has been asked as to whether it it is too harsh on them . Certainly we are lacking in the goals departement and after a match where neither team looked like winning untill the final 10 mins. perhaps we do need to look fmore closely at why we are lacking in goals. . Andi will and does run his legs off for Villa and after 60mins doing just that against ManC he looked knackered . But the lone striker is not a position he is best suited at as he’s far better in a supporting role and as a poacher which is how he has scored many of his goals .
    As for the Zog I’m not a big fan even though before he signed I was in favour of him joining us . But simply put he is too selfish, with the ball , and is not a one man team .
    However perhaps we should remember that the starting lineup was not what was intended before the warmup and that so late in the day it would have been difficult to change the tactics that the original lineup dictated . But we can only postulate as to whether Gabby in the lineup would have produced the much needed goals
    We’ve now got Benteke back so hopefully with 2 weeks of training we can field a team that can get back to winning ways , and adding to the goal tally that some are so worried about

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